On August 23, 1996, attorneys for the Montana Advocacy Program and the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, challenging the conditions of treatment of Montanans with developmental disabilities who were being involuntarily confined in state institutions. Plaintiffs' complaint alleged violations of the Americans with 26 Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12101 et. seq.; Title XIX of the Social Security Act, 28 U.S.C. §1396 et. seq.; 42 U.S.C. §1983; and the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Plaintiffs specifically alleged that officials of Montana unnecessarily segregated people with developmental disabilities in state institutions (Montana Developmental Center, Eastmont Human Service Center, Montana State Hospital and Montana Mental Health Nursing Care Center), instead of providing effective, family-sized residential and other services in the community. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.
Our information about the procedural history of the case is limited to the PACER docket. According to the docket, discovery followed the filing of the action.
On December 21, 1998, the District Court (Judge Charles C. Lovell) ordered that all proceedings be stayed pending the United States Supreme Court's ruling in Olmstead vs. L.C. Cause No. 98-536. The parties subsequently briefed the impact of that decision on the case.
The defendants filed motions to dismiss and for summary judgment. On August 29, 2001, all pending motions were denied as moot as plaintiffs filed an amended complaint.
Judge Charles C. Lovell recused himself from all further proceedings on September 9, 2002. The case was reassigned to Judge Donald W. Molloy.
On November 18, 2002, Judge Molloy granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification, defining the class as consisting of "all those individuals with developmental disabilities who are presently, have been or will be residents of the Montana Developmental Center or Eastmont Human Services Center at any time during the period beginning August 23, 1996 and ending on the date of final adjudication of this matter." Defendants' motions to dismiss were denied.
In July 2003, Judge Donald W. Molloy Case referred the case to Judge Carolyn S. Ostby for consideration of plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction and for other pre-trial proceedings.
On September 30, 2003 Judge Ostby denied plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction and denied the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment. Thereafter, Judge Ostby ordered the parties to participate in mediation.
Following a mediation conference in January, 2004, the parties settled the case. Judge Ostby preliminarily approved the settlement on February 5, 2004 and after a fairness hearing, issued an order approving the settlement and dismissing the case. On June 21, 2004, the Court issued an Amended Judgment, adopting the terms of Class Action Settlement Agreement as an order of Court and retaining jurisdiction over the case for the limited purpose of enforcing the terms of the settlement.
We have no further information on the matter.Dan Dalton - 04/17/2007